Bogus immigration advisers are making money from vulnerable people according to Milton Keynes Citizens Advice Bureau.
The city charity has seen a number of enquiries since January 2014 from clients who paid people they believed were solicitors to assist them with visa applications.
Many of those who spoke to MK CAB had paid hundreds of pounds to ‘legal advisers’ who claimed they were qualified to help them with immigration matters.
In many cases they either submitted applications late or without supporting evidence and almost all the clients concerned lost their money and had applications rejected by the Home Office.
Ben Thomas, advice service director at MK CAB, said: “Applying to extend or change a visa isn’t cheap, and many of the people we’ve spoken to have either parted with their savings or borrowed large amounts of money to make their application.
“We are concerned that individuals posing as ‘advisers’ or ‘solicitors’ are taking advantage of people who are already struggling financially and who need proper help and support.”
The Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 says that all organisations and individuals who practice Immigration Law must register with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner.
Anyone with information regarding unregistered advisers should contact the OISC on 0207 211 1500 or visit their website www.oisc.gov.uk.
> Call 01908 651295 if you have been affected.